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The Afghanistan Papers

For nearly two decades of fighting in Afghanistan, U.S. leaders have sounded a constant refrain: We are making progress. They were not, and they knew it. The Post has obtained records from more than 400 government interviews that reveal the doubts of those who were directly involved in the war.

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    The Afghanistan Papers
      At war with the truth

      At war with the truth

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      The Washington Post - By Craig Whitlock

      The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it, an exclusive Post investigation found. Konar province, 2010 (Moises Saman/Magnum Photos) The Pentagon, 2003 (David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images) Fort Campbell, …

      A secret history of the war

      A secret history of the war

      The Afghanistan Papers In a cache of previously unpublished interviews and memos, key insiders reveal what went wrong during the longest armed conflict in U.S. history More stories The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war For 18 years, America has been at war in Afghanistan. As part of a …

      Consumed by corruption

      Consumed by corruption

      The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war The U.S. flooded the country with money — then turned a blind eye to the graft it fueled Kabul, 2012 (Yuri Kozyrev/Noor) Kabul, 2009 (Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images) Kabul, 2006 (Gary Knight/VII/Redux) About halfway into the 18-year war, Afghans stopped …

      Stranded without a strategy

      Stranded without a strategy

      The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war Bush and Obama had polar-opposite plans to win the war. Both were destined to fail. Pakistan border, 2009 (Chris Hondros/Getty Images) MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, 2002 (Christopher Morris/VII/Redux) Arlington Cemetery, Section 60, 2014 (Amanda …

      Built to fail

      Built to fail

      The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war Despite vows the U.S. wouldn’t get mired in ‘nation-building,’ it’s wasted billions doing just that Kabul, 2009 (David Guttenfelder/AP) Kabul, 2005 (David Guttenfelder/AP) Kabul, 2004 (Emilio Morenatti/AP) George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump …

      Unguarded nation

      Unguarded nation

      The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war Afghan security forces, despite years of training, were dogged by incompetence and corruption Kabul, 2006 (David Guttenfelder/AP) Kabul, 2012 (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images) Kabul, 2009 (Emilio Morenatti/AP) For almost two decades, U.S. military …

      Overwhelmed by opium

      Overwhelmed by opium

      The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war The U.S. war on drugs in Afghanistan has imploded at nearly every turn NANGAHAR PROVINCE, 2006 (Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos) BADAKHSHAN PROVINCE, 2006 (Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos) OUTSKIRTS OF KABUL, 2009 (Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images) In late 2017, …

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